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FAQs for Evaluating a Staffing Firm, Part 2

 Are you thinking your company would benefit if you had a go-to staffing firm you could turn to with ongoing hiring needs and employment concerns? An established relationship with a reputable staffing firm can be a beautiful thing. We’ve seen our own long-term clients gain a competitive edge by partnering with dedicated employment experts who have a long-term perspective of their individual businesses’ challenges and goals.

We pointed out in Part 1 that not just any staffing firm is a great choice as a partner. In that post, we set out to provide you with a list of questions to use in vetting potential staffing partners, so that you can find a firm that delivers the quality of service that truly serves your business objectives. As it turned out, we had more to say on the subject than would fit in a single blog post! As promised, Part 2 provides the remaining FAQs to steer you toward a successful relationship with a staffing firm.

Q:   How long have you been in business?

A:    In the staffing industry, longevity matters. It takes time to develop a candidate network, and you want a firm that’s been around long enough to build a good, solid candidate pool for you to choose from. With longevity comes experience – and the lessons learned, best practices and expertise that experience brings. An established firm also brings you the assurance of a partner with the staying power to go the distance with your company.

Q:   What is your experience in the local market?

A:    If a staffing firm’s recruiters live, work and play in the local community, they have a better sense of which kinds of people fit best with which companies – an important consideration when fit is essential. A local firm has a vested stake in your success; what’s good for your business is likely good for their home community. A home-town firm that has its managing partners onsite gives you the opportunity to work through any tough issues directly with an ultimate decision maker at the firm.

Q:   For your direct hire positions, do your recruiters work in specific niches?

A:    By focusing on a specific type of job, niche recruiters become subject matter experts (SMEs) in their areas of expertise. A specialized recruiter might hone in on finding and hiring procurement specialists in various industries, or they might concentrate on recruiting electrical engineers in the semiconductor industry. You benefit from niche-specific knowledge experienced recruiters have gained over the years. They know the best people nationwide at various levels within their niche, and they know the ins and outs of compensation models, time-to-fill and other hiring considerations.

Q:   What insurance do you carry?

A:    Hiring and contracting with workers poses risks, and a well-insured staffing firm can absorb some of the burden of protecting your company from these liabilities. Ask to see the firm’s certificate of insurance, and make sure they carry at least the following coverage:

·         $1 million for workers’ compensation

·         $1 million for professional liability

·         $1 million for crime or employee dishonesty

·         $2 million for general liability

·         $1 million for hired and non-owned autos

·         An additional umbrella policy that covers up to $5 million

It’s a good idea to discuss minimum coverage recommendations with your insurance agent to ensure that your staffing partner affords you the optimum protection. An underinsured or noninsured staffing firm puts your company at risk.

Q:   What services are provided outside the traditional client/firm relationship?

A:    A truly valuable staffing partner provides you more than the tangible benefits of excellent recruiting services. Ideally, the firm you affiliate with will become your candid ally in any employment challenges you face. They will let you know where you stand as an employer in comparison with your competitors. They will provide consultation on strategies for all things related to recruiting, hiring and retaining employees and contractors. Their goal is your goal – to help make your company successful.

Let us know about your experiences working side-by-side with a staffing firm. Do you have recommendations or additional questions to share?